Immersed into the movies...

When I was writing about the Athens International Film Festival the other day I didn't expect to be so enthralled by the whole thing. Sure, I had watched the occasional screenings in past years, others more and others less interesting, and I had enjoyed the atmosphere, but I hadn't been so much drawn into this whole thing up until now.
Three days and four films later I almost feel like I'm living in a different universe with my daily life just filling in the time between screenings.
I even took a half-day off work today (not much to do anyway...), so I could watch a documentary about the making of the 1972 Rolling Stones double LP Exile on Main St and as I just checked out it was released on DVD this summer.

The documentary was titled Stones in Exile. Most of the film (61 minutes) consisted of still photos, with a camera panning and zooming in and out of them; interviews and narrations help describe the events of the time and how and where this piece of work was produced, while the album's glorious music is filling in all the rest. Did you know that the lyrics for "Tumbling Dice" (the Rolling Stones' best song in my view) were inspired by a black maid, in L.A. who taught the guys about rolling the dice and that kind of gambling?

Getting out of the movie theater -it's been hot and humid lately in Athens- I passed by Papasotiriou Bookstore, at 37 Panepistimiou St., and caught a glimpse of people, in the ground floor, spread out in couches and checking out the latest books. That reminded me I had some books to check out as well, so I headed to Politeia bookstore, which is nearby, at 1-3 Asklipiou St. If you ever need a photo-book / album (what is disturbingly referred to as a "coffee-table book") with pictures of Greece (and not only), Politeia is one of the best places to start looking. Plus, the people working there are very helpful and knowledgable about books.

On my way there, I had to pass through the siren smell of a traditional grill / souvlaki restaurant called "To Prodorpion", at the corner of Asklipiou St. & Akadimias Ave. This is an old time grill, not only in terms of age but also because -though clean- it isn't over-sanitized, in the sense of ultra-powerful ventilator hoods that suck in all the smells, sending them to food-smell heaven and leaving a "cleaned" -exhaust-fumes only- air for us to enjoy... In simple words, you can smell the grilled meat (gyros and souvlaki) every time you approach the place and I find nothing wrong with that!

Anyway, I managed to pull myself away (all tables seemed occupied anyway) and get into the bookshop, with the Stones' music still playing in my head. I was searching for some books on 1940s-'50s Athens that a reader of this blog inquired about. I didn't manage to find exactly what I had in mind but I will give it another shot.

I ended up walking back to my car, parked far away, trying to prolong this nice overdose on the senses and to keep my current work-life out of them...

This brought to my mind the film I had watched on Sunday afternoon - a 1960 "cinema-verité" documentary by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin called Chronicle of a summer. It's funny how people, even back then, different time and different place, still felt trapped in their jobs with their interest diminishing, when working for large organizations...
And allow me to make an... honorable mention to a wonderful music film I saw last night, titled Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, which was a biopic to the great, late English songwriter and performer Ian Dury. Andy Serkis (of The Lord of the Rings / Gollum fame) was starring in the lead role and he really shined in it. I've only wathced him play the Gollum and ...this, but he really seems to have established himself (in my mind) as a great actor!

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